Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival’s kick-off is set for April 28 – 29 and although only three weeks away, the Grand Bahama Carnival office claims to have no information on the event and no one has been given the position of Chairperson on this island as of yet.
After many festival stakeholders and carnival participants were disappointed and even enraged with the impromptu date change, The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival (BJC) has been returned to the original date of May 4 – 6 in the capital, with the kick-off event in Grand Bahama in just under three weeks.
In a press statement last week, Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for West GB and Bimini Obie Wilchcombe said, “After consultation with the Prime Minister, Perry Christie, the Minister of Tourism wishes to inform the public that the original dates for Junkanoo Carnival 2017 have been re-instated May 4 – 6, New Providence and April 28 – 29, Grand Bahama.”
The complete turnaround comes two days after the prime minister announced that the event had been postponed until after the general election, and the Grand Bahama component would be cancelled completely.
Wilchcombe maintained that it was the voices of the local stakeholders and the many visitors who have made preparations to travel to The Bahamas for this year’s Carnival that determined the final decision to have the festivities remain on the original dates.
In his statement, Wilchcombe said, he also recognized the need for the Carnival Commission to ramp up its marketing and promotions in both New Providence and Grand Bahama.
That being said, on Friday, two days after the Minister of Tourism’s statement The Freeport News contacted Denise McPhee, the local representative of the Carnival Commission to get information on the local committee members, the event’s schedule and, if entertainers and vendors had been sought.
McPhee was unable to answer any of the questions; however, she pointed out that with the announcement only being made by Wilchcombe on Wednesday (April 5), “we should have a better idea by Monday.”
When asked if the Music Masters Semi-finals will take place on Grand Bahama, McPhee said that she is quite sure it will.
“They (government representatives) will be over on the weekend so we should have a better idea after that,” McPhee added.
Up to press time yesterday, this daily was still awaiting an update from carnival officials regarding Grand Bahama’s event.
Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017